It’s quite something to walk away from a concert at a complete loss for words, but this was exactly the case with seeing Foals at the Hippodrome in Kingston. A classically great show put on by Banquet Records. When I arrived at the venue I was astounded to see how packed the Hippodrome was, having been here for a number of ‘sold out’ shows before but never seeing it nearly as busy.
The band came on to new track ‘Snake Oil‘ with the crowd eating it out of their hands. There was jumping, cheering and I even think I saw some crying! The energy was electric and the crowd swelled around the front section of the venue. It’s an awkwardly shaped venue and the denseness of the crowd made it very difficult to get a good view, but the atmosphere was phenomenal. While older cuts like ‘Spanish Sahara‘, ‘Red Socks Pugie‘ and ‘My Number‘ were received feverishly by the crowd, prompting singalongs which would probably have woken all of Kingston up, it was the new material which really made the band shine.
The Fantastic one – two of ‘Mountain At My Gates‘ and ‘Give it All‘ from the latest record was a personal highlight and let the band demonstrate what great musicians they are. An encore demonstrated an explosive performance of ‘What Went Down‘ and a standard and yet perfect conclusion with ‘Two Steps Twice‘, featuring a balcony to crowd dive by frontman Yannis Philippakis. This was a fantastic gig and a very successful audition from a band eager to top the bill at the country’s biggest festivals next summer. My only criticism would be the minimal inclusion of material from the latest record. It’s one of the best records released this year and all ten songs deserve to be showcased in the live setting.
James Hunt – @jameshunt211293